Sampling every flavor of dogfood in the store

Raymond Chen

During the development of Windows 95, everybody was, of course, self-hosted and upgraded the operating system on a regular basis as new builds came out. I took it upon myself never to install the operating system twice the same way. Each time I ran setup, I would give different answers to the questions. Maybe this time, I’ll leave out Wordpad and bind NetBIOS over TCP/IP to my Xircom parallel-port network adapter. Or maybe I wouldn’t choose any networking drivers at all during setup and try to add them later. Towards the beginning of the project, nearly every run of setup would run into some strange problem, and some developer from whatever component I decided to configure randomly would be in my office at the debugger trying to figure out what happened. (Fortunately, as the project matured, the problems were rarer and rarer.)

I was, you might say, sampling every flavor of dogfood in the store.

I would also do crazy things for nightly stress runs. My favorite was to run stress over a parallel port direct cable connection. I don’t think it ever occurred to anyone to test DCC quite this way.


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